This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
An offer which, by its terms, requires the offeree to accept such offer by doing certain acts in performance of the contract, may be accepted by the offeree's performing such acts if such acts of the offeree are communicated to the offeror.1 The
8 People's, etc., Ry. v. Ry., 77 U. S. (10 Wall.) 38, 19 L. ed. 844; Benton v. Springfield T. M. C. A., 170 Mass. 534, 64 Am. St. Rep. 320, 49 N. £. 928; Edge Moor Bridge Works v. Bristol County, 170 Mass. 528, 49 N. E. 918; Water Commissioners v. Brown, 32 N. J. L. 504; State, ex rel., v. Board of Public Service, 81 O. S. 218, 90 N. E. 289.
9 State, ex rel., v. Board of Public Service, 81 O. S. 218, 90 N. E. 389.
10 Benton v. Springfield Y. M. C. A., 170 Mass. 534, 64 Am. St. Rep. 320, 49 N. E. 928.
11 Peet v. Meyer, 42 La. Ann. 1034, 8 So. 534.
12 Northwestern Thresher Co. v. Kubicek, 82 Neb. 485, 118 N. W. 94.
13 Reif v. Paige, 55 Wis. 496, 42 Am. Rep. 731, 13 N. W. 473.
1 Pullman Co. v. Meyer, 195 Ala. 397, 70 So. 763; Franklin v. Tuckerman, 68 la. 572, 27 N. W. 759; McCormick Harvesting Machine Co. v. Markert, 107 la. 340, 78 N. W. 33; Hankins v. Young, 174 la. 383, 156 N. W. 380; Zwolanek v. Baker Mfg. Co., 150 Wis. 517, 137 N. W. 769.
Pullman company promised to reserve a drawing room in a sleeper for a certain date from Anniston to Baltimore for A's wife; and in reliance upon such promise, A agreed to pay for such reservation at Anniston, and he purchased drawing-room accommodations from Selma to Anniston. It was held that A's act in buying tickets and paying for such accommodations from Selma to Anniston amounted to an acceptance of the promise of the Pullman company to reserve drawing accommodations from Anniston to Baltimore; and that the Pullman company would be liable if they failed to furnish such accommodations.2 If A offers to pay B for personal care and attention in managing A's house, such offer is accepted by B's commencing such work with A's knowledge.3 A, who was a mortgage creditor of B, promised to accept payment of such mortgage debt in stock. B did not promise to make such payment in stock; but he secured such stock and tendered it to A. It was held that B's act in securing such stock and tendering it to A was an acceptance of A's offer.4 An offer to pay a certain sum as follows: "If you will construct an electric railway along the following route * * * the undersigned agree to pay," becomes a contract when the promisee constructs such electric railway and the offeror knows of such performance.5 An offer of a reward for an act may be accepted by doing such act to the knowledge of the offeror.6
In many cases B performs the act for which A stipulates and A knows that B is performing such act as soon as performance begins. In such cases the offer is accepted and it is not necessary for the courts to decide whether it was necessary that A should know of B's performance.7 Frequently the facts are so stated that it is not possible to determine whether A had knowledge of B's acceptance by doing the stipulated act or not; and the court in its opinion does not make it clear whether it assumes the existence of A's knowledge or regards it as unnecessary.1
2 Pullman Co. v. Meyer, 105 Ala. 397, 70 So. 763.
3 Hankins v. Young, 174 la. 383, 166 N. W. 380.
4 McKenzie v. Stewart, 196 Ala. 241, 72 So. 109.
5 Shreveport Traction Co. v. Mul-haupt, 122 La. 667, 48 So. 144.
6 Madison First National Bank v. Hart, 55 111. 62; Reif v. Paige, 55 Wis. 496, 42 Am. Rep. 731, 13 N. W. 473.
7 Iowa. Muscatine Water Co. v. Lumber Co., 85 la. 112, 52 N. W. 108.
Louisiana. Shreveport Traction Co. v. Mulhaupt, 122 La. 667, 48 So. 144.
Minnesota. Griffin v. Bristle, 39 Minn. 456, 40 N. W. 523.
Vermont. Porter v. Everts' Estate, 81 Vt. 517, 71 Atl. 722.
Wisconsin. Zwolanek v. Baker Mfg. Co., 150 Wis. 517, 137 N. W. 769.